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The Top 10 Things to Do in Southwest Hills, Portland

The Top 10 Things to Do in Southwest Hills, Portland

Every time I tell someone I’m from Portland, Oregon, I get the same response: “Oh, you must love the rain!”

And sure, we have our fair share of drizzle, but there’s so much more to my beloved hometown than just its weather!

From the lush greenery of our parks to our quirky food cart scene, Portland is a city teeming with adventure. And nowhere is this more evident than in Southwest Hills.

But don’t just take my word for it. Here are the top things to do in Southwest Hills, Portland, Oregon. Come rain or shine, I promise you’ll have a blast.

1. Visit Washington Park

Washington Park

Address: 4033 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 AM to 10 PM

Phone:  +1 503-319-0999

This sprawling urban park is the perfect place to start your adventure in Southwest Hills. It boasts an array of attractions, including the Rose Garden, the Japanese Garden, and even an arboretum.

Take a leisurely walk and soak in the beautiful scenery, or bring along a picnic and enjoy a meal amidst nature.

Pro Tip: When you’re done, head over to Council Crest Park for some of the best panoramic views of the city.

2. Explore the Portland Art Museum

Portland Art Museum

Address: 1219 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205, United States


  • Wednesday to Saturday – 10 AM to 5 PM

Phone: +1 503-226-2811

Admission: Adult – $17

As one of the oldest art museums in the country, it’s a cultural hub that is guaranteed to ignite your creative spark. This museum is home to tens of thousands of art pieces spanning multiple centuries and styles.

Whether you’re a fan of contemporary art or old masterpieces, there’s something for everyone here. What’s more, the museum is dedicated to enriching the lives of the community, so you’ll also find films, lectures, and family events taking place.

Pro Tip: Remember to check out their rotating exhibits. You might just stumble upon your new favorite artist!

3. Hike Forest Park

Forest Park

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 5 AM to 10 PM

Phone: +1 503-823-4492

With over 80 miles of trails, this park is a nature lover’s paradise. You can hike, bike, or simply take a leisurely stroll through the lush greenery.

Don’t forget to keep an eye out for wildlife! Forest Park is home to more than 112 bird and 62 mammal species.

Pro Tip: If you’re up for a challenge, tackle the Wildwood Trail. This 30-mile trail will take you through some of the park’s most beautiful areas.

4. Visit the Oregon Zoo

Oregon Zoo

Address: 4001 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221, United States

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 9:30 AM to 4 PM

Phone:  +1 503-226-1561

Admission: Adult & Child – $12

Whether you’re a kid or just a kid at heart, the Oregon Zoo is the perfect place for a day of animal-filled fun! The Oregon Zoo has an array of exotic animals from around the world, so you’re sure to encounter creatures you’ve never seen before.

From the majestic African elephants to the playful penguins, every exhibit promises a new adventure. What’s more, the zoo constantly hosts a variety of events and animal presentations, so you can get up close and personal with some of your favorite animals.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to check out their calendar for any special events happening during your visit. You might just get the chance to feed a giraffe or watch a cheetah in action!

5. Explore Pittock Mansion

Pittock Mansion

Address: 3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, United States


  • Monday & Wednesday to Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM 
  • Tuesday – 12 PM to 4 PM

Phone: +1 503-823-3623

Get ready to step back in time at Pittock Mansion. This stunning turn-of-the-century mansion will make you feel like you’ve walked into a fairytale.

Built in 1914 for Henry Pittock, the founder of Oregon’s largest newspaper, the mansion is a glimpse into the past of Portland’s elite. But it’s not just the history that will amaze you—the views here are some of the best in the city.

Perched high in the hills, the mansion overlooks downtown Portland, and on a clear day, you can see Mount Hood in the distance.

Pro Tip: If you have some time to kill, the mansion offers guided tours where you can learn all about the history of the mansion and the family that lived there.

6. Visit Powell’s City of Books

Powell’s City of Books

Address: 1005 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209, United States

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 9 PM

Phone: +1 800-878-7323

Get lost in a world of books at Powell’s City of Books. With over a million books spread out over an entire city block, it’s easy to spend an entire day here.

From new releases to rare finds, Powell’s has something for everyone, so you’re sure to discover your next favorite read. You’ll often find author readings, book signings, and other events happening too.

Pro Tip: Don’t miss the Rare Book Room. It’s home to autographed first editions and other special books.

7. Satisfy Your Foodie Dreams at Hillsdale Food Park

Address:  6238 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97239, United States

Hours: Monday to Saturday – 11 AM to 7:30 PM

Portland is famous for its vibrant food scene, and for good reason—these restaurants serve up some of the most diverse and delectable food in the city! 

Whether you’re craving spicy Thai, comfort food classics, or just want to try something new, there’s a food cart waiting to serve you at Hillsdale Food Park.

And don’t be fooled by their compact size—these places pack a serious culinary punch.

Pro Tip: Can’t decide what to try? Go on a food cart tour and sample a little bit of everything.

8. Unleash Your Inner Scientist at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry


Address: 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR 97214, United States


  • Sunday & Tuesday to Friday – 9:30 AM to 5 PM
  • Saturday – 9:30 AM to 7 PM

Phone: +1 503-797-4000


  • Adult – $19
  • Senior – $16
  • Youth – $14

Get hands-on with science at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI). This place is a total blast, whether you’re six or sixty!

OMSI is all about making science fun and accessible, with hundreds of interactive exhibits that’ll have you learning without even realizing it. You can do everything from exploring the universe in the planetarium to getting up close and personal with lab experiments in the Science Playground.

Pro Tip: Check out the USS Blueback Submarine, an actual U.S. Navy submarine that was used in the film “The Hunt for Red October.”

9. Discover the Tranquility of Lan Su Chinese Garden

Lan Sun Chinese Garden

Address: 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, United States

Hours: Monday to Sunday – 10 AM to 4 PM

Phone: +1 503-228-8131

Lan Su Chinese Garden is a place where you can take a serene journey through beautiful landscapes that reflect the style of the Ming Dynasty. It‘s a slice of China right in the heart of downtown Portland.

As soon as you step through the entrance, you’ll be transported into a stunning landscape of winding paths, tranquil ponds, and beautiful pavilions. Each detail, from the intricate patterns on the tiles to the carefully manicured bonsai trees, is designed to inspire peace and contemplation.

And with each season, the garden takes on a new character, blooming with camellias in the spring and showcasing vibrant red maple leaves in the fall.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to visit the teahouse for a taste of traditional Chinese tea and snacks.

10. Wander the Portland Farmers Market

Portland Farmers Market 

Address: 1831 SW Pedestrian Trail, Portland, OR 97201, United States

Hours: Saturday 9 AM to 2 PM

Phone: +1 503-241-0032

The Portland Farmers Market is a vibrant, bustling hub of local produce, artisanal foods, and good vibes all around.

The mouthwatering aroma of fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods will greet you as you enter the market. Stalls are piled high with colorful, farm-fresh produce that changes with the seasons, making every visit unique.

You’ll also find local vendors selling everything from homemade jams and honey to fresh flowers and artisanal cheeses.

Pro Tip: Be sure to bring a big basket or bag—you’ll need it for all the goodies you’re going to want to take home! And don’t forget to check out the live music performances.
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